So far during this semester we have had assignments that have been preparing us to go forward as knowledgeable pottery students, demonstrating the basic techniques and information we will need. We began with the assignment to make two mugs, the requirements being that they had to relate in some way, and they had to have handles. With those broad guidelines, I began by making the two mugs, striving to create two pieces similar in size and scale. Starting by making the cylinder, and then joining a pinch pot to the bottom of it. Once finished with the body of the mugs, I created the two handles and attached them. The last step in making the mug, was to make the feet and attach them, this is done by making a coil into a ring, and then slipping and scoring both pieces, in order to connect them. After finishing the body of the mug, my next step was to add a design, which would hopefully make the pieces more visually interesting as well as connect them in some way. My plan was to make a sun on one of the mugs, and a moon on the other. Rather than carve into the mugs, I decided I wanted to try the technique of adding onto the pieces. I constructed both the sun and the moon as separate pieces, molding them and sculpting them into the shapes I wanted and then I slipped and scored both them and the mugs and joint them together. It was a very tedious process, but I think that it payed off. The two mugs relate in scale and proportion, as they are the same dimensions and sizes, and the size of the handles are proportional to the body of the mugs. Their textures are similar as I aimed to make them as smooth and delicate as possible, not leaving bumps or cracks on any surface. Both mugs have focal points in their designs, the sun and moon being the most prominent features, which attract immediate attention. The designs may not be the same, however the pieces still relate despite being opposites, because they have a shared theme.
The next project was to work with texture and patterns and design our own stamps. We were to make two press stamps and then two flat press forms. I struggled with this project, because once the clay was leather hard, I found that carving into it caused it to crumble and look messy. However, after some trial runs, I was able to make a few that I was happy with. For my two press stamps I started by making a simple hexagon on one of them, as that is one of my favorite shapes, and in terms of design, one can do a lot with it, such as repeating it to make a sort of honeycomb design. I also made a more intricate and detailed palm tree stamp, which is more textured than the simple hexagon. For my flat press stamps, I carved a spiral onto a circular stamp, making sure it was deep enough to make strong marks on whatever I may try to imprint. The second flat stamp was a square but I cut it into an octagon and then cut triangles into it to make it look like a sliced lemon. I like the look of it and I think that it will make for a very intriguing stamp, as I can use it on its own, or I can repeat it to make a pattern of lemons.
Our third assignment was similar to the mug project, but instead we had to make two bowls that had to be different in scale, but also relate in some sort of way. The process of making the bowls were also similar to the mugs, starting by making a slab cylinder, and then connecting it with a pinch pot in order to make the bottom of the bowl. I started by making the smaller bowl which was relatively easy to make, it was when I started making the larger bowl that I really struggled. I had decided that I wanted to make a big bowl that could be used as a serving or salad container, rather than its partner which is more individual serving size. I created the large cylinder, and then when trying to make a pinch pot that would match the circumference of that cylinder, I had to try four different times in order to match the sizes. After multiple attempts I finally matched them, and was able to create the large bowl I had envisioned. Despite the size difference, these two bowls relate in structure and aesthetic, as I made sure that they are visually soothing, meaning that there are no cracks or lumps, but rather are smooth and uniform throughout the whole form. I ensured that the lips of the bowls were thin in order to give the idea of lightness, which I think is very important especially for the larger bowl which otherwise it could appear to clunky. As for the design, I decided to try a different technique than what I did for the mugs, carving into the bowls to make a pattern. The design I chose to do was delicate and subtle which adds to the lightness of the pieces. The design is of wheat grass, that covers the entirety of the bowl which makes it appear as though its an entire field of wheat blowing in the wind. The design is repetitive but each piece of grass has a different direction which adds gesture to the design. There is no obvious focal point as the design does go all around both bowls, but it still definitely draws peoples attention to the outside of the bowl. The bowls are smooth, and the joints are not visible as I have connected the pieces together seamlessly.